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Health Secretary: NHS plan is 'essentially optimistic'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called today's five-year plan for the NHS an "essentially positive and optimistic" vision of the future of the health service in England.

In his statement to the House of Commons, he also said the report calls for a "change in culture about the way we care for people" rather than structural change.


People will be 'absolutely sickened' by Roberts decision

People will be "absolutely sickened" by the release of convicted police killer Harry Roberts, Boris Johnson said.

The Mayor London said "life should mean life" as he criticised the decision to free Roberts, who has handed a life sentence for murdering three police officers in 1966.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has hit out at the decision to release Harry Roberts. Credit: PA Wire

"It is perfectly possible that the Parole Board has seen new evidence, I don't know. What I do know is that Londoners will be absolutely sickened by this news," Mr Johnson said.

"They will find it hard to understand how a man who shot dead three police officers in this city in the most horrific fashion can now enjoy the freedom he denied his victims.

"To my mind, in the case of the murder of a police officer, life should mean life."

Canadian police 'verify' photo of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Credit: @ArmedResearch/Twitter

A photo of the Ottawa shooting suspect, 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, appeared on an online Jihadist message board, shortly after his name was released by police yesterday.

Canadian media have reported that police have since verified the image as genuine.

Zehaf-Bibeau - a recent convert to Islam - was known to Canadian police as a petty criminal and was a suspect in an armed robbery in 2011. His passport had been recently confiscated over fears he may have planned on joining the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq.

Key recommendations in NHS England five-year plan

Some of the recommendation's made in today's five-year plan for the NHS in England include:

  • New bodies to provide GP and hospital services along with mental health and social care
  • Workplace schemes to help employees lose weight and stay healthy
  • Better integration of emergency services including A&E, GP's out-of-hours services, urgent care centres, NHS 111 and ambulance services
  • Hospitals to be allowed to open their own GP surgeries where there are not enough
  • Giving ambulance services power to make more decisions
  • Measures to make it easier for groups of midwives to set up NHS-funded midwifery services


ONS: Supermarket spending 'flat' since May 2013

Spending in British supermarkets has been "essentially flat" since May of last year, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

According to the ONS 'non-specialised food stores' such as Tesco and Sainsbury's account for the vast majority of food spending.

Food spending accounts for 40% of all retail sales in the UK, the ONS added.

The ONS graph shows supermarket spending flatten out over the last year. Credit: ONS

This marks a contrast from the years leading up to 2013, where growth in spending has been strong, with a particularly rapid surge between 2006 and 2009.

The second graph shows the quantity of goods bought in all retail and specifically in supermarkets. Credit: ONS

Some of that previous growth may have been accounted for by food price inflation, as customers's spending has risen despite the quantity of goods they buy remaining more or less the same.

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